Public relation is an integral part of any organisation’s communication strategy. It involves creating and maintaining a positive image of the brand in the minds of the target audience. PR professionals use various tactics, such as media relations, influencer marketing, and content creation, to achieve their goals. However, measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of these tactics is crucial to understanding the return on objective (ROO) and making data-driven decisions. In recent years, many PR professionals have turned to automated dashboards to measure and analyse their PR metrics. While these dashboards offer a level of convenience, they are falling short in PR measurement. In this article, I will explore why automated dashboards are not the silver bullet for PR measurement.
Lack of Customisation
One of the major drawbacks of automated dashboards is the lack of customization. These dashboards are designed to be a one-size-fits-all solution, which means that they may not capture all the metrics that are relevant to a particular PR campaign or engagement. For instance, if a company is running a campaign to increase its media presence, the automated dashboard may not track all the relevant metrics, making it difficult to gauge the campaign’s success accurately. Automated dashboards may also not take into account the specific goals and objectives of the PR campaign, resulting in incomplete data and inaccurate results.
Inability to Measure the Quality of Coverage
Automated dashboards are designed to measure the quantity of media coverage, such as the number of mentions, shares, or likes. However, they are unable to measure the quality of the coverage. Quality metrics, such as tone, message penetration, and audience reach, are essential for PR professionals to determine the effectiveness of their campaigns. Automated dashboards may miss crucial quality metrics that could impact the PR campaign’s success. For example, a high number of media mentions may seem positive, but if the tone of the coverage is negative, it could harm the brand’s image and reputation.
Lack of Human Analysis
Automated dashboards rely on algorithms to analyse data, which may not always produce accurate results. There are certain nuances and context-specific factors that can only be identified by human analysis. For example, a spike in media coverage for a particular brand could be due to negative news coverage, which an automated dashboard may not be able to differentiate from positive coverage. Human analysis is necessary to understand the context and nuances of PR measurement accurately. Automated dashboards may also miss out on important trends and patterns that require a human touch to identify and analyse.
Inability to Integrate with Other Data Sources
PR measurement is not just about measuring media coverage. It requires integration with other data sources, such as web analytics, sales data, and customer feedback. Automated dashboards may not be able to integrate with all these sources, making it difficult for PR professionals to get a holistic view of the campaign’s effectiveness. For instance, if a PR campaign is designed to increase sales, the automated dashboard may not be able to connect the media coverage to the actual sales figures, leading to incomplete data and inaccurate results.
Lack of Actionable Insights
Automated dashboards provide a lot of data, but they may not provide actionable insights. PR professionals need insights to make data-driven decisions and improve their campaigns. Automated dashboards may not provide insights that are specific to the campaign’s objectives, making it difficult to improve and optimise the campaign. PR professionals need insights that can help them identify what is working and what is not and make adjustments accordingly. Automated dashboards may not be able to provide such insights, resulting in incomplete data and inaccurate results.
In conclusion, automated dashboards may offer a level of convenience in PR measurement, but they are falling short in providing accurate, comprehensive, and actionable insights. PR professionals should opt for Media Intelligence Consultants that provide human analysis and measure both the quantity and quality of media coverage. Such solutions can help PR professionals make data-driven decisions and improve their campaigns’ effectiveness.
–Philip Odiakose is the Chief Insights Consultant at P+ Measurement Services, a Media Intelligence Consultancy in Lagos state, Nigeria